[games_access] Complaint regarding Florian Eckhardt
d. michelle hinn
hinn at uiuc.edu
Fri Jun 2 18:56:12 EDT 2006
yikes. You know...why shouldn't we include some
of these remarks in our talks? I'm not saying we
should talk about it in a way that goes against
our idea of letting developers know what they are
doing right and not constantly telling them what
they are doing wrong. But I think we've found in
past GDCs that when we bring up a comment like
the ones you just posted, it really hits a point
about NOT how devs are insensitive to the issue
of accessibility but maybe a bigger issue about
how we view disabilities in society. It never
ceases to completely quiet the room. It makes
people listen to what we're saying. Because
EVERYONE knows someone who is affected by some
kind of disability. It only serves as a way to
introduce why we fight so hard and why we are
STILL trying to convince people to increase the
accessibility of their games. Because people are
getting excluded and that makes some people
really happy for some sick reason.
It's interesting that these are comments from
GAMERS, not developers. Ok, maybe some might
think that pointing out such comments suggest
that accessibility might decrease their current
user base. We've heard this with regard to gender
neutral games. But it's not the same issue -- we
are not saying to attract gamers with
disabilities, you need to change your storyline
and remove characters x, y, and z from your game.
But, wow, IF, for instance, all games had closed
captioning already...would someone post these
same type of comments? For example has Valve seen
comments like "wow, I won't buy Half-Life 2
because it has closed captioning in it and the
last thing I want to do let a deaf person play
this game too?" I doubt it. I doubt people who
might make that comment would even notice. But
the thing is, someone does -- someone who can now
play the game.
I'm not suggesting this to push people away but
rather inform our audiences that the bigger
picture is that they CAN do something to stop
SOME kind of bigotry in the world.. As I said at
GDC when opening the session -- we get a lot of
criticism in this industry for portrayals of
violence, sexism, racism. Then we have government
officials (esp in the US) yelling about censoring
the industry versus free speech. But where's our
US congressmen who is pointing out how we censor
games every day ourselves through
inaccessibility? Yeah I know, I can hear it now
"whoa, that's too complex and gets us away from
the issues." Yeah, ok. Yet, TV stations in the US
have to provide closed captioning. Why? There's a
lot of crap I'd rather not see on TV. But I
suppose I *could* just change the channel, huh?
Why make a violent game accessible? Well, that
seems like a bit of a Catch-22. By making them
accessible are we promoting violence? Or are we
promoting the idea that people should have the
right to decide FOR THEMSELVES what they want to
Yeah...the right to fun.
Ok...off soap box for the next minute, anyway.
>You should have seen the disgusting remarks people made when the idea
>of close captioning Doom3 was posted on a forum.
>"I don't know why we dont just shoot these people... put them out of
>their misery because they are obviously miserable. If it's not that
>hard, you do it ya twit!"
>"Because it's not cost efficient? Would you like some cheese with that whine?"
>"This is one of the stupidest posts ever. FPS games are not made for
>hearing impaired people. Why? Because subtitles like: "imp is hissing
>behind you", "fireball sound comming from 3:00 O'Clock", "bullet sound
>wizzes by your left ear". That would just be dumb. Here's the bottom
>line. FPS's ARE NOT FOR DEAF PEOPLE. case closed. How can any deaf
>person effectively play any FPS?? Grow up and stop being a stupid ass
>It goes on and on with more of this crap, all from 13 yr olds
>probably. but hey, Games[CC] sure showed them right?
>I am surprised that a popular site like Kotaku.com would be that insensitive.
>Anyway, I like the quote from Einstein, "Great spirits have often
>encountered violent opposition from weak minds."
>On 6/2/06, d. michelle hinn <hinn at uiuc.edu> wrote:
>>Indeed. This is highly offensive and I am highly offended. I understand that
>>it's hard to grasp a game that could be universally accessible, but that
>>doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to make games accessible to MORE. But
>>beside that, the language in his post is a bit unbelievable in this day and
>>age. I could take a million cheap shots at his comment (as I'm sure many of
>>us could) but I won't because, frankly, it's just not worth going there.
>>"The stupid and incompetent" ... I see that we have a long, long way to go
>>still. This might make a nice example to cite in our upcoming game
>>conference presentations and in our book, especially when developers find it
>>hard to fathom that we'd run across such bigotry...which we, unfortunately,
>>still do. Thoughts?
>>Chairperson, IGDA Game Accessibility SIG
>>At 9:04 PM +0100 6/2/06, Barrie Ellis wrote:
>>Dear Brian and Alice,
>>I have transcribed a recent post on Kotaku.com below, which I find grossly
>>offensive. I'd appreciate it if you would read it through.
>>Retro Remakes Big 2006 Retro Remaking Contest
>>« previous post next post »
>>Retro Remakes is sponsoring a huge honking contest to create the best remake
>>of a classic video game. There's £3692 worth of prizes to be won for "Good
>>remakes of good games that anyone can play, regardless of their ability."
>>We're puzzled by that last qualification: certainly, developing a game for
>>people with, say, amniotic banding syndrome in mind is a rather large
>>requirement to win a copy of a 2D scroller programming book. We assume,
>>then, that what they really mean is "Good remakes of good games that even
>>the stupid and incompetent can play." A lofty, if perhaps equally out of
>>So if you're a dev who has just always wanted to give birth to a Frogger
>>clone but never could justify the time, head on over and check it out. The
>>prizes look quite good and the world could always use some more retro
>>clones. FLORIAN ECKHARDT
>>Retro Remakes: The Big 2006 Compo [Retro Remakes]
>>I find his manner nasty in the extreme. Do you allow extreme racist,
>>homophobic or sexist comments on Kotaku too? If not, please explain to me
>>the difference. Are disabled people a softer target, and therefore fair
>>www.OneSwitch.org.uk and www.igda.org/accessibility
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